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TECHROVA Enrichment Club empower elementary and middle school students to raise money for non-profit organizations through math, science, geography and language arts contests.

Joy Cruse, founder of the Dallas-based TeamConnor Childhood Cancer Foundation, recently spoke to TECHROVA members about the work that TeamConnor does to support childhood cancer research. 

“Connor loved math and science,” said Joy Cruse. “Connor was especially interested in the space program. He once said, ‘Mom, if we can put a man on the moon, then surely we can find a cure for cancer, right?’ We promised Connor we would fight for a cure so other children wouldn’t have to endure what he did.”

Joy was pregnant with her fourth child in 2005 when she took four-year-old Connor to a Dallas emergency room with what she thought was appendicitis. When the doctors diagnosed stage four neuroblastoma, she was stunned.

After finding the cancer had spread to his bones and tumors were wrapped around his spine and growing in his abdomen and around his heart, the prognosis was very grim. Connor fought hard and actually beat neuroblastoma, but a secondary cancer caused by the radiation used to treat his tumors proved fatal. In July 2009, Connor died at the age of eight.

TeamConnor is dedicated to raising awareness and funding research projects to find a cure for all childhood cancers. The organization has raised more than $2 million for childhood cancer research. 

TECHROVA chose TeamConnor as one of their non-profit recipients and recently donated $2,000 to the organization.

TECHROVA organizes clubs in math, science, geography and language arts that are run by middle and high school student volunteers. Sai Abhijit Pabbisetty, Saket Muktapuram, Sahiti Pydimarri, Samhita Kamala Jalasutram, Rohit Anantha and Aneesh Madgula are volunteer teachers.  Each is an eighth grade student who was selected based on their academic performance in the specific subject areas they teach. The student teachers are all in their school’s Gifted and Talented program and are National Junior Honorary Society members. 

The current year program includes the Math Club for 3rd to 5th grades, Science Club for 3rd to 5th grades and Language Arts Club for 3rd to 5th grades. TECHROVA participates in the CML Math, CML Science, CML National Language Arts League and Math League national contests each year.  

Childhood cancer is the number one disease killer of children; yet the National Cancer Institute allocates less than four percent of its budget to pediatric cancer research.

TeamConnor hosts events throughout the year to raise funds for childhood cancer research, including the III Forks Golf Classic and Auction Dinner, April 30 – May 1, 2017; Splash Out Childhood Cancer, July 10; National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Concert, September 16; Color Me Green 5K/10K, October 7; and the Northwestern Mutual Clay Shoot, November 2.  In addition, TeamConnor’s national Coins for Kids with Cancer program raises funds in schools, churches, offices and organizations across the country to help fund childhood cancer research.

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